A Central P(Art) of Hong Kong

April 11, 2017 / by / 0 Comment

Hong Kong gets a bad rap…in the cultural sense. When you place it next to its metropolitan peers, Hong Kong’s art and culture scene aren’t awarded the same influential power as New York, London, or Paris. Every year, around March, two major art exhibitions take place in Central, the heart of the island’s activity; Art Central and Art Basel. If Art Basel is more your international famous coffee chain with its celebrity guests (re Leonardo DiCaprio at last year’s event and David Beckham at this year’s), Art Central is like the quirky hipster coffee place mostly tenanted by boutique art galleries around Asia Pacific.

This year’s Art Central ran from March 20- March 25, with regular tickets costing HKD230 and more importantly, student tickets cost HKD110 and HKD150 on weekdays and weekends, respectively. The space in Art Central is divided into two spaces, one for more “traditional” art and another for more contemporary pieces. But do not expect to see any Picassos or Van Gogh’s hanging in the “traditional” section. The pieces that are on the show are separated by theme according to their respective galleries from all around the Asia-Pacific region. Even though Art Central is seen as the “smaller” event, do not be fooled as there so many different artworks on display that you might just find yourself being happily lost in there for hours.

Although there are over 100 galleries, with each displaying about 10 pieces each, I have narrowed down to a few stand-out pieces (based solely on my personal opinion and opinions from my Art Central companions) from the exhibition:

Art Pieces

  1. “Hear no evil, See no evil, Speak no evil,…” by Yi-Shiang Yang in Gallery Ovo from Taipei


2. “#16 Persephone” by M. Irfan in Affinity ART from Hong Kong

3. “Huntsman” by Anne Smart in Richard Koh Fine Art from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


4. “Freedom Song no.1” by Adeste Deguilmo in Qube Gallery from Cebu, Philippines

5. “Official Portrait-Dali” by Shen Shaomin in Da Xiang Space from Taiwan

Performance Art

1. “The Red Chador: Ban Me!” by Anida Yoeu Ali

One of the highlights of the fair is The Red Chador, a performance art by Cambodian-American artist Anida Yoeu Ali. She walks around the fair in a shimmery red chador carrying around protest signs on topics ranging from the Trump election to the Umbrella movement, encouraging viewers to sign up for her ‘art” tour and become participants in the performance. Although the 99 signs are on display, it can be difficult to catch Ali herself as she glides through the exhibition, so look out for a wave of red if you ever catch her performance again!

2. “Speculative Entertainment No.1 Hong Kong Edition,” Uji Handoko Eko Saputro (Hahan)


This ingenious piece made by Indonesian artist Hahan is both art fair and art auction combined. The large collage of alien heads, emojis, cartoon illustrations and other popular culture references is slowly auctioned off in 10x10cm squares starting with a bid of HK$300. The auctioneers are dressed in a red uniform reminiscent of kung-fu practitioners and bark auctioning bids into a megaphone.

This is just a small rendition of the big picture of the Hong Kong Art month, The art works and the combination of different themes each year is a feast to relish for all.

A visit to one of these is highly never know who do you bump into.



I write, sometimes. I breathe, most of the time. Made in Malaysia, made by the internet. I also think I'm funnier than I really am.